Fred Adams founded the Utah Shakespeare Festival which is held annually in Cedar City on the campus of Southern Utah University. In 1962 while rehearsing Hamlet for the Festival’s first season, Mr. Adams and the cast had a charming but baffling experience which is not resolved to this day. We are hoping that you, our listeners, can help us answer a question about that summer.
"But I’ll never forget our first season. Our first plays were Taming of the Shrew, The Merchant of Venice, and Hamlet. And we rehearsed Taming of the Shrew every morning, and we rehearsed Merchant in the afternoon, and then we rehearsed Hamlet at night, because Hamlet need a larger cast than the other two, and so we pulled in the city post master, and a couple of clerks from JCPenny’s and that sort of thing.
We had people that had to work during the day, but really wanted to work with us at night. We set up our platform on a patio and we began rehearsing with just folding chairs and some risers as an audience.
I noticed almost the second or third rehearsal we had, we had three little boys, I would say ages maybe ten to thirteen, straddling their bikes, sitting there on the sidelines, watching the rehearsal going on, watching us with books in our hands, watching as we blocked, as we memorized. Night after night, we tried to get acquainted with them, but they didn’t want to talk to us. We were those strange actors. But they never missed.